101 Ways to be a Happy Traveler

Too many travelers I meet on the road don’t seem happy. They have endless complaints about the food, the people, the service or the pace of life. I’m not just talking about budget travelers either. Even travel professionals who are lucky enough to enjoy free overseas trips, stay in great hotels, visit the best travel hot spots and get paid to write about them seem to moan.

Do you want to feel happier than you already are when you travel? Do you find that most happiness tips are too long, detailed, embarrassing or complicated?
The simple solution is these 101 quick, easy and free ways to make you feel happy right now, whether you’re currently traveling or at home.

They’ll help you see how to be a happy traveler, and from there you can start to add more ideas of your own. Make sure you get your daily dose of happiness, because life’s too short to be miserable and there are infinite ways to feel happy. It’s just a case of finding those things and doing them.

I’ve read enough self-help and personal development books to fill a couple of tea chests, and I’ve traveled all over the world in search of happiness and fulfillment. So now you don’t have too.

If you haven’t already had your happy fix today, or if you want to feel even happier, try these 101 quick, simple ideas. Just maybe not all on the same day!

Please, dip in to these ways to feel happy, try them out one by one and start to feel happier day by day.

How to Feel Happy

1. Smile.
2. Connect with nature.
3. Surround yourself with positive people in person or online.
4. Do something you’ve always enjoyed.
5. Do something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try.
6. Learn something new. There are endless opportunities when you’re traveling to learn a new local recipe, a dance style or take up a new sport or hobby be it painting or surfing.
7. Smell something that makes you happy: a mandarin, your lover’s perfume, chocolate, you decide.
8. Reward yourself for your good habits.
9. Eat something that makes you happy, but not too much if it’s fattening. If you’re missing food from home get hold of some of it, even if you do have to pay a bit more by shopping in a store for expats.
10. Spend time with a good friend. It’s easier to keep in touch with people when you’re traveling but make sure you take time to speak to your good friends back home on Skype.
11. Touch something that makes you happy: a cat, velvet, the bark of a tree? Take time to notice.
12. Don’t worry now, worry later.
13. Say, or sing, something that makes you happy.
14. Challenge yourself, I dare you. Try traveling along, traveling by chicken bus in India or creating a blog about your travels and sharing them with the world.
15. Look at something that makes you happy.
16. Stop procrastinating, do something. Travel can be a way of delaying things and if that’s true for you tackle issues you’ve been putting off. Make lists and start planning so you can act.
17. Take a small step towards your travel goals. Not by checking another destination off your bucket list but by enjoying where you are right now.
18. Congratulate yourself on all the challenges you’ve come up against while traveling and overcome.
19. Tell someone you love them. If you’re away from home send a postcard to a loved one telling them you love them and are thinking of them. It will make both of you happy.
20. Do a good deed. Spend a morning picking up litter from the beach, helping out in a local school and showing compassion for those around you.
21. Face your travel fears and tackle them head on.
22. Read a book you love.
23. Get outside.
24. Spend time with inspiring travelers or read a travel book by someone who inspires you or makes you laugh.
25. Clear out your junk, literally and lighten your load of all the things you’ve brought with you that you don’t really need.
26. Let go of negative memories.
27. Dwell on positive things from your past.
28. Be creative.
29. Dare yourself to do something.
30. Give someone an unexpected gift.
31. Change your habits and do something unexpected. Go to a restaurant you’d never  normally try, go skinny dipping or go for a walk at night with your torch.
32. Watch the sunset.
33. Get up for sunrise.
34. Think about how to start saving for more travels.
35. Be active. Even when you’re traveling take time to look after your body by stretching and excercising. Fit that in whenever you can.
36. Plan for success in your travels  if things aren’t working out as planned decide how you can make it better next time.
37. Eat something healthy. It’s often hard to eat enough fresh food when travelling. Buy a knife, a plate and eat fresh fruit from local markets or make yourself a big salad.
38. Trust your instincts.
39. Follow your passion.
40. Throw a party at the beach, a local restaurant or wherever you’re staying and invite some other travelers.
41. Avoid drama queens and energy suckers, you know who they are.
42. Write your travel adventures down, keep a diary.
43. Spend time taking new photos and deleting all the bad ones.
44. Treat yourself to a day at a local spa or visit a waterfall or beach where you can spend time quietly and come out feeling recharged.
45. Say no to things you don’t want to do.
46. Spend a day alone. Often when you’re traveling you’re never really alone, work out how you can get that much needed me time.
47. Devote a day to family and friends back home, updating Facebook, sending them photos and emailing them.
48. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
49. Wear your favourite outfit, no matter where you are.
50. Be present in the moment.
51. Take a fun mode of transport. Hire a bike and go for a bike ride, take an elephant ride or enjoy a boat trip.
52. Do something you loved as a kid that you haven’t done for years.
53. Forgive someone, especially yourself.
54. Travel slowly and don’t keep rushing to see the next thing.
55. Have a meal somewhere different: try a picnic. When in France the best food is a baguette, some fine cheese and a ripe tomato enjoyed outside.
56. Avoid advertisements that make you want  more stuff than you need.
57. Pick a bunch of flowers and put them in your room.
58. Ban all media for the day.
59. Let something slide.
60. But some local jewellery and wear it.
61. Be romantic. Even if you’re alone you can enjoy the sunset or go out for an evening stroll.
62. Play a game: uno, chess, poker to make new friends.
63. Eat some thing you’ve never eaten before.
64. Have a siesta.
65. Do something you’ve been putting off.
66. Dream big.
67. Start small.
68. Seek out supportive and like-minded people when you travel.
69. Understand that all things come to an end.
70. Feed the ducks.
71. Persevere: pick up something you gave up on.
72. Start a new habit, a good one.
73. Look at yourself in the mirror, pick what you like best and flaunt it.
74. Seek sensuous activities and enjoy them.
75. Look for the funny things about travel and laugh about them.
76. Rest up.
77. Ask a stranger to take a photo of you and take one of them too.
78. Look at favourite old travel photos.
79. Challenge your body with a new form of exercise or hobby.
80. Meditate.
81. Write a mantra.
82. Focus.
83. Don’t buy something, see if you miss it. Put the cash in a savings account for your next trip instead.
84. Notice what makes you happy and use it in sad times.
85. Ignore people who annoy you, stop being with them.
86. Play hide and seek or build a sandcastle with some local kids.
87. Put a picture of someone you love in your wallet.
88. Tell someone your dreams.
89. Love yourself.
90. Be grateful.
91. Visualise a life full of many long and happy travels.
92. Unblock.
93. Use your brain: try a crossword or sudoku.
94. Make a good choice.
95. Acknowledge your feelings.
96. Go on a walk, long or short.
97. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
98. Be grateful for life.
99. Write a poem.
100. Teach someone something you know well.
101. Choose to be happy every day you’re traveling.

What makes you happy when you travel?

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  1. Teresa July 29, 2009 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    This could not have come at a better time for me hon…Thank you! I am going to print this off and put it on my wall :)

  2. CoralM July 30, 2009 at 8:37 am - Reply

    I think someone else cleaning the house will make me happier! Great list Annabel.

  3. Nicole/MadlabPost July 30, 2009 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I was going to mention that this should be printed out an placed on the refrigerator but Teresa already made a similar comment regarding the printing.

    The guy who runs the Zen Habits blog referred this post and I’m glad that I noticed the link because it’s very motivational in a positive manner.

    Great list!

  4. Cate Bolt July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I love, love, love this post!!! I love meeting people that “get it” – hooray for Twitter, hooray for social media, hooray for happiness and hooray YOU for inspiring me to continue to be happy!
    Bright Blessings,

  5. nayanagarwal July 30, 2009 at 11:57 am - Reply

    This is so helpful…So many ideas at one place…atleast I am going to enjoy my life for next few days…thanks for putting this up…I enjoyed reading it

  6. kelly July 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    thank you thank you thank you – :)

  7. altumviditur July 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Great list. It also made me realize that I do most of the things listed in here, randomly. It’s good that we are and we love to be happy! :) It’s funny you mentioned Sudoku because that’s what I do when I’m bored and had run out of simple and/or easy things to do. Hahaha. Yeah it makes be feel not bored anymore, therefore, happy :)

  8. altumviditur July 30, 2009 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    you’re absolutely right.

    nature makes me happy too, and traveling. That’s why I have a travel website (as linked to my name), but local travel only. And good food, well, i think it makes me happy too! :)

    thank you again for the wonderful tips :)

  9. Lauren Chapman July 30, 2009 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Those 101 things were awesome, it was like having a lightbulb go off when I was reading them…… Thank you !

  10. Matthew Cornell July 31, 2009 at 12:40 am - Reply

    We’re on the same wavelength.

  11. Kim August 1, 2009 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Annabel, it must have made you happy just to have written this list! It’s fabulous and right on. This year I started a new thing: Every day I try something new. I have a calendar dedicated to this activity and it is now filled with all kinds of wonderful things. New foods, wines, movies, books, roads less traveled, volunteer opportunities, spotting different birds,etc. It’s amazing how easy it is to break free from the routine,even for a short while , and try something new. I love your list!!

  12. petra molitor August 15, 2009 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Hi, Annabel
    I am having lots of fun with your 101 tips.They have created a code for insiders.
    A big 1 from Petra

  13. Laura Baker September 1, 2009 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Great list. I could add a few, but children might read your blog and find me disgusting and a bit of a lush. Oh well ;) Cheers – keep up the good work!

    • Alex September 6, 2011 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Yes, Laura i agree about children.

      Great list. thanks

  14. Hesham October 10, 2009 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    very nice and simple ways to make us happy, thanks!

  15. scheng1 November 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Dont expect too much from life and from others is a must for happiness

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  18. Naked Girl in a Dress May 10, 2010 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Thank you for this great article. I found you by reading a guest post on your first year of blogging over at ProBlogger. I have a whopping 6 posts published and am working with a graphics person now for the masthead and design. So, the article was timely for me.

    I added you to my RSS feed and will now be following you regularly. This is a very uplifting site.

    Also, glad to see your RSS feed count since writing your guest post. Way to go!

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  21. Anonymous October 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    This has really changed my life. I look at everything so differently now. I cant thankyou enough for writing this. youve saved my life

  22. bonerat November 19, 2010 at 10:02 am - Reply

    great list – I felt really down and thought I was doing nothing but realised I’m doing most of the things on your list already. So now I feel much better about my self but can carry on as usual!

  23. Paul April 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Great list ~ whenever you’re feeling down you could simply pick one item that jumps out at you and I know it will make a difference. And it’s those differences that change your world

  24. stef May 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you.

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  26. braden July 8, 2011 at 7:03 am - Reply

    this is so encouraging! thanks! you helped me be happy today :D

  27. Lisa Alexiou July 20, 2011 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Wow … with that list it would be impossible to be unhappy. I’m going to print and do a social experiment for 101 days, starting with tip 101. It has inspired me to record the 101 days in writing. Thanks A for this truly inspiring blog. I choose to be happy today and everyday!

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  29. james December 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    tnx a lot…

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  31. Pam March 26, 2012 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Thank you for this very simple, yet powerful message. I am inspired by the folks who have replied saying that your ideas changed/saved their lives. I volunteer on a crisis hotline and will use these ideas with the callers.

  32. Anna April 8, 2012 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Thank you very, very much for posting this! Being 12, it was nice reading this because it helped me to take my mind off of schoolwork for a while and it reminded me how to be happy and free again. Right now I am on Spring break. I am going to try to do a lot of the things that are listed over the break. I am very greatful!!! Thanks! ^_^

  33. Angel May 4, 2012 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hey this was some pretty good advice but I used to share a room with my parents before the baby came and I’m eleven (it’s pretty cramped so don’t judge me) now me and my sister have to share a room but at least I’m not alone but I caught a cold and now I have to sleep alone! It’s scary and sometimes I have nightmares so any advise for that?? Oh and right now a thunderstorm is happening right now!!

  34. Andrea Perez January 29, 2013 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Just what I needed to hear when I needed to hear … thanks for the tips

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